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Competition, Action Shooting And Training. Competition, Three gun, IPSC, IDPA , and Training discussion here.

View Poll Results: Why don't you shoot competition?
It's not training or tactics 6 10.71%
I don't know where to start 24 42.86%
It probably costs too much money and takes too much time 25 44.64%
You can only have so many hobbies 10 17.86%
My wife/girlfriend won't have it 2 3.57%
I would rather just practice alone 8 14.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 11-24-2012, 4:23 AM
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Default Why don't you shoot competition?

I can't remember a time when I wasn't involved in competition shooting of one venue or another, but never really understood why other shooters don't, excluding golfers....

Last edited by HighLander51; 11-24-2012 at 4:29 AM..
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2012, 4:37 AM
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I guess I just have never been exposed to it. I practice often but never have been big on the competition aspect. I do what I do for my own protection and the protection of my family, not to see who is better.

Also, I never worry about perfect shots. Some like to have a sub-Mao at 1000. Personally I worry about a man sized target at any distance and placing shots at vital areas consistently.

I guess it is my training over the last 20 years

Just my .02


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  #3  
Old 11-24-2012, 5:08 AM
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Didn't see the option I needed

I don't shoot competition (anymore). I just don't have time for it nowadays because i am so busy running one large annual competition match that by the time I am done with it each year I have no energy or time left to do it for fun anymore!

Just my $.02 as a present day Match Director that used to just be a simple, happy competitor. Moral of the story, if you start competing, don't get involved any higher than that LOL
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Old 11-24-2012, 5:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffLinder View Post
Didn't see the option I needed

I don't shoot competition (anymore). I just don't have time for it nowadays because i am so busy running one large annual competition match that by the time I am done with it each year I have no energy or time left to do it for fun anymore!
I forgot to add burn-out as an option....
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Old 11-24-2012, 5:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLander51 View Post
I forgot to add burn-out as an option....
Yes you did LOL

Still love the sport, or there would not be a BARC!
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  #6  
Old 11-24-2012, 6:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffLinder View Post
Didn't see the option I needed

I don't shoot competition (anymore). I just don't have time for it nowadays because i am so busy running one large annual competition match that by the time I am done with it each year I have no energy or time left to do it for fun anymore!

Just my $.02 as a present day Match Director that used to just be a simple, happy competitor. Moral of the story, if you start competing, don't get involved any higher than that LOL
Thanks for keeping the BARC alive, Geoff. I LOVE that match.
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Old 11-24-2012, 7:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLander51 View Post
I can't remember a time when I wasn't involved in competition shooting of one venue or another, but never really understood why other shooters don't, excluding golfers....
The nearest IDPA league to me is a 5 hour one-way drive.

The nearest USPSA league for me is a 2 hour one way haul.

Gas ain't cheap, and don't forget the gear like holsters, mag holders,magazines and ammunition. Add all that up plus range fees, and outside of winning the state lottery there's no way I can afford to shoot competition regularly.

I must thus make do with shooting alone.
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2012, 7:12 AM
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I shot IPSIC for about 3 years ending probably 15 years ago. It was fun for about 6 months. Then it got to where all I did was stress about my scores. It took all the fun out of shooting. Switched to cowboy action for about 4 years and loved it. Always fun!!!!!! Then my daughter turned 14. No more time or money for shooting. Now I have 2 perfect grandkids and time and money for shooting.
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2012, 7:20 AM
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An option for why don't you shoot competition AS MUCH...

TOO FAR AWAY AND TOO LITTLE SHOOTING FOR TOO MUCH TIME SPENT THERE

Personally, in SoCal the IDPA and USPSA matches are an hour away one way and the day at the venue takes a good 6 hours. That's just too much time for too few rounds. Most times the IDPA Compact/Revolver match at ISI is the exception, they let you shoot whatever (doesn't count for final tallies but you get good practice), can get two matches in and be done in 2-3 hours. GSSF outdoor is also fast but most convenient is GSSF Indoor at LAX Range which is only 15 minutes away and takes a couple of hours for 3-4 matches.
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2012, 7:37 AM
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I have in the past and will again. I am thinking about doing a steel match, that seems like it would be fun. The last competition I attended about 2-3 years ago lasted about 5hrs for about 4-5 mins of actual shooting. That was far from fun.

I get plenty of dry fire practice, failure drills and drawing my weapon with snap caps at home as well as moving while drawing and firing.

I go to the range 3-5 times a week depending on what is going on at home and work. I do the majority of my shooting at 7-10 yards when I do my target focus shooting. I do shoot out to 25-30 yards when outdoors. My range is on the way home from work and it takes me about 30min to 1hr on most trips. I shoot 100-200 rounds on most trips, but last Wednesday I put 350 rounds down range. I was doing a lot of left and right hand shooting that day. Between dry fire and actual rounds down range I get a lot of trigger time.
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2012, 8:06 AM
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Hard to figure out where to start. Also a little intimidating to join a bunch of strangers and ask "can I play with you, please, and by the way, I suck and don't know squat" Really do want to step off that curb, want to get out and move, but that first step is a tad daunting.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2012, 8:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uhlan1 View Post
Hard to figure out where to start. Also a little intimidating to join a bunch of strangers and ask "can I play with you, please, and by the way, I suck and don't know squat" Really do want to step off that curb, want to get out and move, but that first step is a tad daunting.
My last experience at a competition was a bad one. The shoot took too long for the amount of shooting I did. I will however say I have always been met with open arms regardless to which place I would shoot. Most of the people who run these shoots know you have to start somewhere and are very willing to help you in every area. Just go try it if you have questions ask and they will help you out.
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  #13  
Old 11-24-2012, 8:21 AM
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Matches do take too long but that is because most people at the match view it more as a social event than a sport.

Before I started competing, from the outside looking in, action pistol matches looked boring (IMHO, they still are), I had no idea that there were action rifles matches. After my first rifle only action match the BRD bit hard. We are lucky in the Bay Area to have a monthly rifle only match at Chabot.
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Old 11-24-2012, 5:11 PM
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10 minutes of shooting and a whole day gone is a bit of a waste of time for me if I'm out there by myself. I get 100 fold more bang for my buck spending ammo on practice at the range. So I stopped doing matches on a regular basis. That being said I do go every now and then with friends but we treat it more like a friendly semi-competitive social outing like golf.
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2012, 5:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMC 82-86 View Post
My last experience at a competition was a bad one. The shoot took too long for the amount of shooting I did. I will however say I have always been met with open arms regardless to which place I would shoot. Most of the people who run these shoots know you have to start somewhere and are very willing to help you in every area. Just go try it if you have questions ask and they will help you out.
yep. we are a friendly and helpful bunch. And EVERY ONE was a noob at some point. Don't let it, keep you from playing
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Old 11-24-2012, 6:25 PM
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It took me almost a year watching others to shoot IPSC before I joined in.
(afraid to expose my weakness to the public)
But now I really enjoy it, and the local match is only 20 minutes away from me.
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Old 11-24-2012, 6:29 PM
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I get questions from across the country on my channel about shooting competition so I only voted by proxy for those folks. Some others that aren't listed:

I'm not good enough to shoot competition
There are no matches in my area
Had a bad experience at my first match
My equipment is not competition legal
There's not enough shooting
The scoring is confusing
It will teach me bad habits
Tried it and wasn't for me
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Old 11-24-2012, 6:32 PM
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Yes, it does take at least a few hours to shoot most club matches for not a lot of time shooting. So how long does it take you guys to set up a similar set of stages for yourself, along with having all the targets, walls barricades,etc. so that you can get a lot of shooting in by yourself or with a buddy? And then you tear it all down by yourself. Is it a lot shorter time? Of course, 99% or shooters aren't shooting similar scenarios on their own. Most are standing there shooting at a target. Also, one other option was left out of the poll. Some shooters are just hesitant to get out in front of other shooters and find out how they measure up to other shooters. Mark
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Old 11-24-2012, 6:35 PM
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I need a buddy to show me how to get started. Its hard to just walk in cold, especially when (as you guys point out) much of it is social. And I'm not very good at breaking the ice socially (think wallflower at the school dance )
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Old 11-24-2012, 6:41 PM
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Besides the whole money/cost/time arguement being a big part I think as a couple of other posters mentioned the biggest reason(s) for most shooters is the fear of shooting in front of others and the attitude they aren't good enough to shoot in competitions/matches.

I know those two were my biggest hurdles to overcome before I started shooting IDPA & USPSA.
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Old 11-24-2012, 6:46 PM
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Not enough time or money.
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Old 11-24-2012, 6:52 PM
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They called off the last two I wanted to go to because of the weather. Which is good, because I don't have a 4x4 yet or even a car I can drive on dirt roads without worrying it's going to break.
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Old 11-24-2012, 7:19 PM
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I don't because my work is too unpredictable and it's impossible for anyone to just "cover" for me, which sucks, yes, I know.
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Old 11-24-2012, 7:21 PM
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I was 3 times a month. Then my other job (the full time one) switched days off.


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Old 11-24-2012, 7:48 PM
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Combination of don't know where to start and you can only have so man hobbies. Plus I don't like to travel much.
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Old 11-24-2012, 7:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelogic View Post
Matches do take too long but that is because most people at the match view it more as a social event than a sport.

Before I started competing, from the outside looking in, action pistol matches looked boring (IMHO, they still are), I had no idea that there were action rifles matches. After my first rifle only action match the BRD bit hard. We are lucky in the Bay Area to have a monthly rifle only match at Chabot.
Joe, you should have been at SacValley today. We had 5 stages of rifle/pistol done by 3:30PM. 4 stages in the 50 yard action pistol bays and one at the silhouette range (MGM recons at 325; flashers at 200)

I've done IDPA, USPSA, steel challlenge, but my favorite is 3Gun. I believe anyone thinking about competitive shooting should just do it. Don't over think it and wait for everyting to be perfect. Try different disiplines until you find the one you like best.
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Old 11-24-2012, 8:21 PM
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i'll shoot any damn competition there is so long as its running and gunning.

run and gun is life!
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJ View Post
I need a buddy to show me how to get started. Its hard to just walk in cold, especially when (as you guys point out) much of it is social. And I'm not very good at breaking the ice socially (think wallflower at the school dance )
The funny thing is, I was that wallflower back in school all those years ago.. now I am USPSA CRO certified, on the range safety committee, have run 3 major matches, am an officer at my club, and am one of the USPSA Norcal section officers..

I HATE speaking to crowds of people.. all of these hats I wear has been good for breaking me from being that "Wallflower"...

I talked Geoff into making the BARC a 1.5 day match.. He swears at me time to time

I practice when I can, which is few and far between lately.. so it would have been nice to check a box above that said something like "Not only do I compete, but I help to run things in the background"...
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sargenv View Post
I talked Geoff into making the BARC a 1.5 day match.. He swears at me time to time

I practice when I can, which is few and far between lately.. so it would have been nice to check a box above that said something like "Not only do I compete, but I help to run things in the background"...
Thanks again Vince LOL

I was looking for that same poll option
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Old 11-26-2012, 9:03 AM
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For some of us the question is why don't you shoot competition often:

The main reason I don't is that it takes waay too much time 4-7 hours, depending on turn out, for very little trigger time.

Take last weekend's Norco Running Gun for example. I got there at 8 and didn't get done till 2:30. Total trigger time of about 2 minutes. So I basically sat and waited, chatted with buddies for approx. 6 hours and 28 minutes!!! Although fun, I could have spent that time hanging out with my kids or for other more fun activities like SCUBA Diving and Mountainbiking where I actually get a good dose of exercise and fun at the same time.

Second, there's many silly rules in competetion and that are not applicable to real word scenarios. Take IPSC, for example, and the yellow line rule. What's up with that? You mean I can't run to cover that's 5 feet away and obscuring my view of the target? How about IDPA where you have to follow the shoot sequence to avoid procedurals.

Third, you only get to run a stage once and you learn very little over the 15-20 second you are shooting since you'r so focused on running a quick and smooth stage. And contrary to popular belief, no one is out there to coach you unless you are paying the GM/Match Director to teach you.


So compared to other sports I'm into: I could have dove 4 times, I could have climbed & decended 3,000+ feet on my mountainbike or ride 100 miles on my roadbike. All of which would have given me a good cardio workout and a good dose of adrenallin; AKA, too many other fun sports too.

Also, I am better of practicing what I've learned from classes with a shooting buddy. More trigger time relative to time spent at the range.
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Last edited by HK35; 11-26-2012 at 11:42 AM..
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:27 AM
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This map with descriptions for 29+ S.F. bay area shooting ranges has helped me to find competitions using my existing equipment.

http://www.dragunov.net/bay_area_ranges.htm

Do you guys in southern CA have a similar map with summary for each range?
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HK35 View Post
For some of us the question is why don't you competition often:

The main reason I don't is that it takes waay too much time 4-7 hours, depending on turn out, for very little trigger time.
There's no getting around it. Shooters need to be made safe, steel targets need to be reset, and paper targets need to be pasted. A good squad can certainly help make the day shorter since everyone will want to work, shoot and get out of there as soon as they can.
Steel challenge and GSSF will likely have the highest signal-to-noise ratio if you're primarily interested in the shooting part. But, as you know, you'll lose out on stage variety and the 'strategerie' aspect, i.e. finding the best plan and executing it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
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There's no getting around it. Shooters need to be made safe, steel targets need to be reset, and paper targets need to be pasted. A good squad can certainly help make the day shorter since everyone will want to work, shoot and get out of there as soon as they can.
Steel challenge and GSSF will likely have the highest signal-to-noise ratio if you're primarily interested in the shooting part. But, as you know, you'll lose out on stage variety and the 'strategerie' aspect, i.e. finding the best plan and executing it.
I totally get the time for registration, safety brief and stage rundowns. I've always strived to be one of the first to go down range and paste/paint targets. Many are not so inclined and the day is a combination of shooting and a lot of talking for them. Kind of like golf. Even when my squad finished its stage fast you're still only as fast as the slowest squad to finish the day.

The combination of the different types of competitive shooting is what's so attractive: run & gun, defensive-minded games, marksmanship-oriented, etc.
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Old 11-26-2012, 2:42 PM
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One more thing about trigger time.. shoot a slow platform and enjoy twice the amount of time shooting (ie single stack or Revolver).
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Old 11-26-2012, 2:48 PM
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not ready for that
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  #36  
Old 11-26-2012, 3:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sargenv View Post
One more thing about trigger time.. shoot a slow platform and enjoy twice the amount of time shooting (ie single stack or Revolver).

Good way of putting it. I get twice or three times the amount of time on each stage as the other shooters. Maybe i'll slow down even more and really get my moneys worth

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Old 11-26-2012, 3:55 PM
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Hmm... interesting thread. I'll throw out my list of reasons in no particular order.

Competition schedules. I shoot when I have the time, I can't always coordinate the rest of my life when a league/competition/shoot/whatever is happening.

Time. As people have pointed out, competitions don't seem to offer much in the way of trigger time, but a lot of time spent dealing with the competition as a whole. I really don't see a way around this, it is what it is. That said, I hate being at a range and not shooting. Cease fires, safety briefings, target maintenance doesn't bug me. I just cannot stand the idea of going to the range for a day and only letting off 50-100 rounds. I understand the "treat it like golf" argument, but I don't like golf either. I go to the range to shoot, not stand around and chat.

Competition formats. Some of the competition formats I feel are way outdated(service rifle shoots not actually using modern configurations would be the most obvious example of this that I can point out), too restrictive(overall weight limits, trigger pull weight minimums, config requirements that force me to use a bullet button, etc.), or you end up competing with your wallet(can't really have much of an "open/unlimited" class and exclude the guy with a $3000 rifle and $3000 scope). Off the top of my head, I don't own a single rifle in a configuration that would be legal to shoot in any match I'd really be interested in, without being out $'d by someone who put more money into their guns that I'm willing to put into mine.

Ranges. This kind of also falls into the scheduling issue. Getting beyond 200 yards requires a bit more of a drive than 100, unless I want to take a day off work because a range like Chabot only has their 200 yard line open on Friday mornings(wtf), so anything local I'd be limited.

Pistol matches... eh.. I'm a horrible shot. I wouldn't bother with a pistol match for the same reason I don't go bowling. I'm so bad at it that I feel it'd be a waste of time(although I do go to the range and shoot pistols, but who the hell goes bowling by themselves... that just seems weird). I want to eventually take some classes, not shoot matches(because then we'd just be right back to most of the other reasons I'm not interested in matches).
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Old 11-26-2012, 3:56 PM
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Don't have the slightest IDEA where to start, but willing to learn.
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Old 11-26-2012, 3:56 PM
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Time.

I just don’t have enough time (let alone consistent time) to dedicate to shooting competitively. One of these days ...
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Old 11-26-2012, 4:26 PM
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lot's of good points on both sides of the fence...interesting as a shooting competition newb to look at.

I'll be a new USPSA member soon (already did the online signup a couple days ago), and will try a few comps as something to do/vary my shooting-training-experiences/widen my horizons/change from the static range. Have enjoyed a variety of tac pistol/tac carbine/low-light classes the last few years, so feel a little (very little haha) better prepared to go shoot in front of people. Actually have been to the low-pressure always fun Corona steel pistol meets a few times.

I have no expereince/knowledge to comment on rules/procedures as some have mentioned.

Just wanted to throw out, sitting and waiting is commonplace at many other competition/club type events.

My example: motorcycle racing (competitive rr and/or mx). Most often, the competitor signs up early am, gets a short practice or two early am, and sits around for hours waiting for their one or two races. People who might be further along in their training and abilities might race a couple extra classes, but the vast majority find themselves sitting in the pits most of day. I also remember doing some triathlons a couple decades ago...while your one race might be over in an hour or 90min, most of day is wiped out waiting for start time, and/or awards at end of day. Mt. Bike cross-country and DH racing was the same...

All part of it.

Put me in the "Going to do it" column.
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